Entering vacation (and adventure) mode and heading to Morocco

As much as I’ve enjoyed my sustainability investigations (and I still need to update my Vitoria-Gasteiz post with some learnings), I’ve resolved to chill a bit more for the remainder of my trip. I took the train from Vitoria-Gasteiz in northern Spain, to Córdoba and Ronda in Andalucía. Córdoba has fascinating culture, with layers of history, from Copper Age settlement to a flourishing city of over 100,000 in pre-Roman days, subsequently a major Roman centre, Islamic centre, Spanish and French (probably not in the right order, apologies!). And orange trees growing everywhere! Also flowers, even though it’s the middle of winter. Here are a few highlights from each of these towns.

The mosque-cathedral of Córdoba, called La Mezquita. Initially built in the 7th century, with alternating phases of Christian and Muslim expansions and conversions.

Córdoba white washed buildings, serene plazas and alleys, Old Roman stuff including bridge and temple.

OK so Ronda has to be about the most spectacular towns I’ve seen, per hed on the edge of a gorge, looking much like a fairy tale setting. There are at least two bridges, the largest of which is the “new bridge” constructed in the 1700s. There isalso a “water mine” with tunnels carved in the rock down to the river, for harvesting water as eell as defense. I saw windows in the cliffs far below and wondered “wtf” so this helped explain it. I would have stayed longer including to explore this feature, but it looks loke serious rain on the way for the next week.

So, today (Dec. 16th) I’m heading from Algeciras to Tangier in Morocco, from whence to get my bearings and pin down subsequent plans. Looking forward to slightly easier communication in French. It does feel like a bigger step into unknowns. I guess chilling in a villa just isn’t my thing 🤔